Eline Vere

( 2 )

Overview

• Table of contents with working links to chapters is included
• The book has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors
• Translated into English from the Dutch
The two sisters growing up side by side under the same training, under the same surroundings, developed within themselves a somewhat similar mental and moral condition, which, however, as years went by followed the bent of their different temperaments. In Eline, who, of a languid and lymphatic nature, felt the need of tender support, and gentle ...
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Eline Vere

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Overview

• Table of contents with working links to chapters is included
• The book has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors
• Translated into English from the Dutch
The two sisters growing up side by side under the same training, under the same surroundings, developed within themselves a somewhat similar mental and moral condition, which, however, as years went by followed the bent of their different temperaments. In Eline, who, of a languid and lymphatic nature, felt the need of tender support, and gentle warmth of affection, and whose nerves, delicate as the petals of a flower, even in their soft, velvet-clad surroundings, were often too rudely handled by the slightest opposition, there developed a kind of timid reserve, which filled her mind with thousands of small tokens of a secret grief. Then when her measure of half - imaginary sorrows was full, it would relieve itself in one overwhelming, foaming wave of tearful passion. In Betsy's more sanguine nature there grew, nurtured by Eline's need of support, a desire for domineering, by means of which she could force her whole psychological being into that of her pliant sister, to whom, after the first shock, it always brought a feeling of rest and contentment . But neither Eline's fear of wounding her fine-strung temperament, nor Betsy's over-ruling egoism, could ever have led to a tragic crisis, as the sharp contrasts of each character became, in the soft enervating atmosphere of their surroundings, blended and dissolved in one dull tint of neutral gray.

After one or two dances, where Eline's little white-satined feet had glided along in rhythmical accompaniment to a dazzling harmony of brilliant light and colour, soft strains of melody and dulcet tones of admiration, she received two offers of marriage, each of which she declined. Those two proposals remained still in her memory as two easily-gained triumphs, but at times the recollection of the first would call forth a faint sigh from her bosom. It was then that she met Henri van Raat, and ever since she asked herself how it could possibly be that such a mass of stolidity as she called him, with so little resemblance to the hero of her dreams, appealed so strongly to her sympathies, ay, to such an extent that frequently she was overtaken with a sudden, irresistible impulse to be near him. The heroes of her dreams bore some resemblance to the idealized image of her father, to the conceptions of Ouida's fanciful brain. But they had nothing in common with van Raat, with his sanguine, equable, complacent temperament, his soft sleepy gray-blue eyes, his laboured speech and heavy laugh. And yet in his voice, in his glance, there was something that attracted her, as in his unstudied bonhomie. In all this she found support, so that at times she felt conscious of the vague desire to 'rest her weary head on his shoulder. And he too felt conscious, with a certain pride, that he was something to her.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The author’s touch is always delicate and sure in handling the lights and shades of thought and emotion.—The New York Times Book Review

[H]is sympathy for the hybrid, the impure and the ambiguous gave him a peculiarly modern voice. It is extraordinary that this Dutch dandy, writing in the flowery language of fin-de-siècle decadence, should still sound so fresh. —The New York Review of Books

[A] masterpiece. . . . The Hague's greatest writer, turn-of-the-century Louis Couperus . . . captured the city in a famous novel, Eline Vere. . . . For its roomy, chatty descriptions of life among the moneyed classes, it is a Buddenbrooks avant la lettre; for its restless heroine, trapped by social obligations, it's a Dutch Madame Bovary. . . in Ina Rilke's smart new translation, it anticipates the questions that would become so important for women in the decades to come: no longer content in a purely domestic world, what were they to do with themselves? —Ben Moser, Harper's

Electric. . . . Astounding. . . . A pleasure we've missed for far too long. . . . It has the energy of the great Victorian novels without the melodrama. . . . Couperus is a fine, driving storyteller. He's brilliant. —Michael Pye, The Scotsman

Superb. . . . Couperus handles his many characters with masterly ease and keeps his prose smooth, light, and flowing: Ina Rilke's translation cannot be praised highly enough. . . . With Eline Vere the estimable Archipelago Books continues to make available in English some of the most important works of European literature. —Michael Dirda, The Wall Street Journal

The portrait of their unfolding affair is a masterful observation of the beauty and illogic of romantic love.—Times Literary Supplement

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780981955742
  • Publisher: Steerforth Press
  • Publication date: 6/25/2010
  • Pages: 532
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.50 (d)

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